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Queen's famous gowns go on display at Buckingham Palace

By Tony Jones, Press Association Court Correspondent

The dress worn by the Queen when she "parachuted" into the Olympic stadium during the London 2012 opening ceremony will be a star attraction at a new Buckingham Palace exhibition.

Dresses, gowns and outfits from the monarch's life, charting important personal moments and major events for the nation, have gone on display.

The handmade garments created by British designers range from the Queen's wedding and coronation gowns - exhibited together for the first time - to items worn at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, during overseas state visits and her "neon at 90" outfit for this year's Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The Queen had her own starring role in the Olympics when she filmed a cameo appearance for Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, greeting James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, at the palace with the words "Good evening, Mr Bond".

They boarded a helicopter and set off, flying over London to the Olympic Stadium, where the scene ended with the Queen's stunt double parachuting live into the arena.

Seconds later, the real Queen, wearing the same peach coloured dress as she did in the filmed sequence, entered the stadium to rapturous applause.

It was created by Angela Kelly, the Queen's personal assistant and adviser, using sumptuous materials like silk, lace, beads, feathers and enamel and a second was also made for the monarch's stunt double Gary Connery who jumped out of the helicopter.

Exhibition curator, Caroline de Guitaut from the Royal Collection Trust, said only Ms Kelly, and not her seamstresses, knew why two outfits were needed.

"The second version was made in complete secrecy and even those working on the making of these didn't actually understand why there were two identical outfits - so it has a fantastic story," she said.

"The philosophy behind the design I believe is to have something in a colour that wouldn't be in anyway representative of any of the countries participating, so that's why the colour is quite unique, that sort of peachy, coraly pink.

"And also to have quite striking, strong design lines so the kind of illusion of the Queen potentially jumping out of the helicopter would not be lost.

"So you've got these quite strong pleats across the shoulder, band of lace around the torso, and then the pleats around the skirt."

Mr Connery, who has worked on movie series ranging from Harry Potter to Indiana Jones, said at the time he "thoroughly enjoyed getting dressed up".

Visitors to the exhibition, which forms part of the summer opening of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace, will first see a display space featuring an outfit for each of the 10 decades the Queen has lived through.

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